Fatal Blast At French Nuclear Site

on September 12, 2011 at 3:30 PM

A furnace used to treat low grade nuclear waste exploded at a nuclear site in southern France on Monday, killing one person and injuring four others.

France’s nuclear safety authority said there were no radioactive leaks from the explosion at the waste treatment site at Marcoule run by EDF, the operator of France’s 58 nuclear power stations.

The government rushed to reassure the public that there had been no leak and the interior ministry said no one had been evacuated from the site. Eric Besson, energy minister, insisted the incident presented no risk to public safety.

“It is a human drama, an industrial accident,” he told reporters. “There is no chemical or radioactive risk at this moment. Unfortunately there was a death, which I deplore.”

However public authorities were on standby and a secure zone was set up around the nuclear site, according to French media reports.